The rise in the use of smartphones in recent years and the evolution of innovative technologies has caused a paradigm shift in business strategies and the development industry. With the fast-paced digitization, the mobile platform is not one that entrepreneurs can take for granted.
The immense benefits of the mobile platform in terms of return on investment (ROI) and its quick access to the target audience is cause to seek app development services.
That said, ensuring the success of your app is not as simple as having an idea, developing, and then deployment. Factors like your choice of platform (Android or iOS), framework, tech stack, and more, influence your ROI.
Thus, the blog highlights the primary differences between the development paths you can choose, as well as the principle development frameworks in the market. Read on to see which option would fit your requirements:
Native Vs. Hybrid Apps
The question of which development approach you should take is the first step to deciding which framework will fit your requirements. The difference between native and cross-platform apps stems from the fact that while one is designed for a particular platform, the latter is compatible with multiple operating systems.
Native apps follow platform-specific programming languages, for example, Swift for iOS and Java for Android. Developers have to create native apps from scratch for each platform, whereas, cross-platform apps share a single codebase, that is reusable on multiple platforms.
Additionally, native app development has the upper hand when it comes to the user interface, OS updates, performance, and reliability of mobile apps. But hybrid apps are more cost-effective for their reusability than native apps and have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
That said, they both have their pros and cons. Your choice depends on your requirements and the goals you hope to achieve with your mobile app. In case your app has sophisticated features that require access to full device capabilities, and you have a flexible budget, then opt for native apps.
Which Frameworks Should You Choose?
In the programming world, frameworks refer to the platform developers use to create applications. It is a pre-existing software that forms the basis of new custom native or hybrid apps.
Frameworks simplify the development process by cutting down the time spent coding programs. It also makes maintenance that much more convenient.
That said, your choice of development framework also influences the success of your mobile app. Now that you understand native and hybrid apps, let’s see which framework would fit your needs:
Developed by Microsoft, Xamarin is a framework you can use to target multiple platforms. With one codebase, it supports native app development, offering an exceptional UI/UX on all operating systems, including MacOS.
It follows C# programming language, so developers don’t need to learn Swift or Java for iOS or Android apps, respectively. Using Native APIs and Native UI, it ensures a seamless and straightforward interface on any platform you target.
Xamarin also comes with a host of paid and free components, including UI controls and third-party services, as well as top QA and testing features. So, developers can create and test their apps quickly during development.
Flutter is relatively new in the mobile app development game, but its advanced features and multi-platform SDKs make it ideal for hybrid development. Since Google released the framework, it has gained popularity for its contribution to streamlining and optimizing the app development processes.
Plus, it comes with a Hot Reload functionality that allows developers to test the app without needing to restart it. It enables them to review the app and make changes in real-time, saving time, and effort during testing, which also speeds up deployment.
Flutter also ensures excellent performance, as it uses Dart programming language for its native code and comes with its widgets, eliminating the need for OEM ones.
It supports the use of Native APIs and Native UI controls for a seamless interface on both Android and iOS platforms. Plus, not only does it have massive community support, but it also speeds up the development process with reusable code, compatible on multiple platforms.
Ionic frameworks support hybrid app development as well as progressive web apps. Plus, it has a smooth learning curve and simple installation procedure, making it easy to adopt for beginner developers.
Furthermore, it is a free, open-source platform with Cordova plugins that allow developers to access features like cameras, GPS, and flashlights.
Plus, it uses native UI elements, ensuring a seamless interface, regardless of the platform. It is ideal for cross-platform mobile apps, with cloud services for backend development.
Plus, as an open-source framework, it has massive community support, comes with built-in tools, plugin libraries, third-party software support, and more. With its work in the Cloud, developers can update post-launch modifications across all platforms and devices, without hassle.
It also supports the device’s in-built features like storage, camera, GPS, and more.
Corona is a free, cross-platform framework capable of developing apps for mobile and desktop. It works with Lua programming language and offers real-time testing to speed up deployment.
Lua is a relatively simple programming language that is compatible with multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, and more.
Plus, Corona SDK supports in-built plugins that speed up development for all platforms, including Android and iOS. It features an API kit that includes widgets, graphics, networking, particle effects, and more, which is why most developers use it for game app development.
Apps built using the Corona framework offer high-performance, usability, speed, and flexibility.
Ready to Build Your App?
If you’ve got the budget, then opt for native app development for your first app. You can consider scaling up to a different platform after you’ve reached your short-term goals on the first try.
That said, your choice of framework is an essential factor in the success of your app that influences its performance, usability, speed, and experience. React Native has been rising in demand for its short learning curve and swift development. Conversely, Flutter may be a new framework, but its increasingly gaining recognition for its contribution to app development.
In a nutshell, I hope this blog post helps in understanding the mobile app development frameworks. If you need help with decision-making, consult app development service providers for their industry insight, and get started on your app.
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Olivia Marie is a Digital Content Producer at Cubix; a software development company, headquartered in Florida, U.S. She is a passionate writer with expertise in Blockchain, AI, digital marketing, and more.
You can connect with Olivia on twitter @OliviaMarie141.